Anthony Fiorentino ’14
Partner, Fiorentino Law Offices
In the spring of 2014, shortly after taking the bar exam, I began what started as a one year fellowship with the Champaign County Public Defender’s office, sponsored by the College of Law’s career office.
Within my first few weeks I was representing indigent criminal defendants on traffic misdemeanors and felonies. Every day I was meeting with my clients to review police reports and evidence, explain their options, and ultimately resolve their cases. Best of all, I was making court appearances on a daily basis, and quickly getting my footing in front of the bench. Within months, I had negotiated plea agreements, prepared cases for jury trial, represented defendants at sentencing hearings, and successfully argued motions to exclude evidence.
By the time the bar results came in, Randy Rosenbaum, the head Public Defender of Champaign County, was familiar with my work, and did not hesitate to offer me a full time job. I was sworn in several weeks later, and remained an assistant public defender until the spring of 2016. During that time, I did seven jury trials, three bench trials, and extensive motion practice. My service in the PD’s office gave me the experience and confidence I needed as I transitioned into private practice, and began my current practice area of personal injury litigation. The fellowship program gave me the opportunity to demonstrate my aptitude and work ethic, gain great experience, and secure long term employment. I highly recommend the fellowship program, especially to anyone interested in pursuing a career in public service.